Especially abroad, pathogens can lurk in tap water. However, if you follow a few simple tips, you can avoid illnesses.
On the road in distant holiday destinations, many travelers are particularly careful with their choice of food. There is a great fear of supposed germs in food. But pathogens can also lurk in water from public sources or even in restaurants. However, if you pay attention to good hygiene and follow a few tips, you can usually avoid illnesses altogether. Here you can find out how to recognize contaminated water abroad and prevent unpleasant complaints.
Staying healthy: what water you can drink while traveling
Tap or well water cannot always be drunk without hesitation when traveling. © Wavebreakmedia Micro/Imago
In Germany, tap water is easily drinkable, according to experts from the consumer advice center. The water from the tap is suitable as a cheap and plastic-free alternative to packaged mineral water from the supermarket. Abroad, however, different rules apply. For example, there are major differences in the quality of tap water worldwide. In many places, travellers should therefore avoid tap water at all costs in order to avoid infection with dangerous diseases.
In more than 180 countries, tourists should not drink unfiltered water under any circumstances, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to international destinations, this also includes holiday destinations popular with Europeans:
- Canary Islands
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Tap water in holiday destinations: how to avoid diseases
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 80 percent of all travel illnesses can be traced back to contaminated drinking water. In order to prevent diseases, travelers in the affected countries should therefore only drink from commercially bottled bottles. According to the Foreign Office, it is also important to avoid ice cubes in restaurants, because cold usually does not bother the pathogens. Unclean cups and glasses should also be avoided at all costs.
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On the other hand, drinks with boiled water such as tea or coffee can be used without hesitation. The pathogens cannot survive in hot water. If, however, only tap or well water is available, the water must be boiled for at least three minutes until bubbly. Filters or chemical aids can also make the water drinkable.